Former Rams Running Back Lawrence Phillips Found Dead In Prison
January 13 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
Lawrence Phillips was the featured running back for two Nebraska national championship teams and had the talent to become one of the greatest NFL running backs ever, but it was never to be. Run-ins with the law off the field doomed him from the start, until the somewhat inevitable on Wednesday: Phillips was found dead in prison of a suspected suicide. He was 40 years old.
It happened at the Kern Valley State Prison, California Department of Corrections, where Phillips had just gone on trial for the murder of his cellmate. Phillips was already serving 32 years for trying to run over several people with his car following a pickup football game (7 years) and seven counts of assaulting his ex-girlfriend (25 years).
Phillips was the sixth pick overall in the 1996 NFL Draft.
Kern Golden Empire:
The death is being investigated as a suspected suicide, according to press release from the department.
Phillips, 40, was facing the possible death penalty in the alleged murder of his former cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison.
Although a talented running back, Phillips was also notorious to San Francisco 49ers fans for his lack of blocking skills. In 1999 he infamously failed on a block attempt against the Arizona Cardinals, allowing Steve Young to get hit and knocked out. Young suffered a concussion that ultimately led to his retirement.
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